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Anger over tobacco – School calls industry ‘dishonest’

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Calling tobacco companies “brazenly dishonest,” a committee of faculty and students at the University of Michigan is urging the school to sell its $30 million stock investment in the industry, The Associated Press reports.

The school joins a string of 14 colleges and universities, including Harvard, that have recently set policies to restrict or divest tobacco stock.

After conducting public forums and reading more than 200 e-mail messages, the Ad-Hoc Committee on Tobacco Investment reported overwhelming support for the divestiture.

“The brazen dishonesty of the tobacco industry for so many years about a matter of such enormous public health significance is unquestionably antithetical to the core missions of the university,” the report says. 

Sale of the stock, which represents one percent of the school’s $3 billion investment portfolio, must be approved by the Board of Regents. 

In 1978, the school sold stock in companies in South Africa because of apartheid, AP says. 

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